Thursday, April 17, 2008

Proverbia-The Naked Soul-1

A call from a friend reminded me that my post on Suffering-Again may have been too obscure. So, you say, what constitutes suffering?

When I said, suffering again, I was referring, firstly, to past deep trials. Those trials involved a series of difficult times immediately following my beginning to study for the ministry. All of these things happened in about a 24 month span.

I was accused and sued unjustly, twice in a year. My wife lost a full-term baby, our son Luke, four days before the due date. The baby died on Mother's Day. A few months later, my father died. The next year we lost another baby, Lydia, at 5 1/2 months. My wife's grandmother died. A month or so later, we hastened to southern Idaho to be at the bedside of my wife's stepfather who quite suddenly died of cancer. A month after that we moved to Virginia to start a church. A few months after arriving in Virginia, the workers at my new job rebelled against the fellow brought in to clean up the situation, me, levelling various accusations at their new boss. There was an investigation. After the investigation, human resources was staunchly on my side and I was fully exonerated. The company rewarded me by putting me in a larger store with more responsibility. So, sufferings from within and without. And another lesson to learn?, as another close friend said during this run of trials, "Remind me never to decide to go into ministry."

Much of the suffering in these trials was more acutely felt by my wife. She was suffering greatly but the rest of our family was suffering along with her. It was much more easy to bear my own sufferings than those of my wife. I know the Lord desires to purify my wife as well as me but I often feel as if her sufferings are for my benefit and the benefit of the saints in our church. That seems odd to me. I am sure the Lord knows that she bears up better under it and he can teach me and the rest of us what we need to learn as a result. Suffering is a painfully thorough teacher.

I give you this snapshot to let you know that we really have suffered. In fact, I think that both my wife and I have graduate degrees in suffering. Here's the difficulty. We already had M.A.S, Master's of Arts in Suffering. We do not want a Ph.D.S. But the Lord thinks differently than we do.

I've rambled and am up against the blog reader word count. I'll address our current suffering and the topic of this title, The Naked Soul, in my next post.

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